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Malaria Journal

Volume 11 Supplement 1

Challenges in malaria research

Open Access

Fragmented population structure of Plasmodium falciparum in Papua New Guinea: Implications for malaria control

  • Alvssa E Barry1, 2,
  • Ivo Mueller1, 2, 3,
  • GL Abby Harrison1,
  • Celine Barnadas1,
  • Inoni Betuela4,
  • Manuel Hetzel4,
  • Livingstone Tavul4,
  • Dominic Kwiatkowski5 and
  • Peter M Siba4
Malaria Journal201211(Suppl 1):P113

Published: 15 October 2012


Single Nucleotide PolymorphismMalariaPlasmodiumControl ProgramPreliminary Data

Malaria is being controlled in Papua New Guinea (PNG) where the epidemiology of the disease ranges from highly endemic in low-lying regions to epidemics in the highlands. Analyses of microsatellite haplotypes have revealed that populations of Plasmodium falciparum on the north coast of PNG are genetically isolated. If this fragmented population structure is found throughout PNG it will provide a unique opportunity for planning malaria control strategies and focusing efforts on regions where they are likely to have the greatest impact. We are working towards defining a high-resolution population genomic map of parasite networks and migration patterns throughout PNG using single nucleotide polymorphisms. Our approach, preliminary data and the practical implications of this research will be discussed in context with the national malaria control program.

Authors’ Affiliations

Infection and Immunity Division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne, Australia
Department of Medical Biology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Centro de Investigación en Salud Internacional de Barcelona (CRESIB), Barcelona, Spain
Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka, PNG
Sanger Institute, Hinxton, UK


© Barry et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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